Photographs of Manchu and Chinese archers | Fe Doro - Manchu archery
Archery bow stand. I created it so that it could be taken apart and packed flat. The curve of the upright allows space for the bow string.
Samurai stringing a yumi (bow).
The picture is most likely posed, or otherwise the archer uses an alternative grip in order to hold the bow long enough for the shot. With the technology John Thomson had available the exposure time would be seconds in summer, but much longer in winter due to the delayed effect of the chemicals at work. Both his bow and string hand are not how they are supposed to be. The overall posture seems to be correct though, so the man may have actually known how to shoot, circa 1865.
Tomoe Gozen, a late twelfth-century female samurai warrior known for her bravery and strength. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoe_Gozen